PHCA – Quarterly Meeting

PISCATAWAY HILLS CITIZENS ASSOCIATION

(PHCA)

QUARTERLY MEETING

TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2017

 

The meeting was called to order at 7pm by PHCA President Robert Reilly

Robert Reilly welcomed and introduced our new neighbor Steve Tucker who lives on Piscataway Drive to the meeting.

-Neighborhood Watch Update/ Crime Report: George Satterthwaite reports there has been no criminal activities in the area to report on.  We do have a new COP Officer Corporal Stephen Rannacher.
“Let me introduce myself, my name is Corporal S. Rannacher #3124 and I’m a new Cops officer here at Dist. 7. I will be covering William 1, 2, and 3 beats so if you are receiving this email you are more than likely in one of my beats. If anyone want me to attend meetings please email me the dates and times you would like me to attend.”

We currently have 14 Block Captains who George will soon be meeting with and coordinating events with.

We as a community are encouraged to participate with Nextdoor.

Launched in 2011, Nextdoor allows neighborhood residents to connect with one another online, sharing classified ads, notices about nearby events, and observations and warnings about crime trends. The platform has the potential to bring out the best and worst in communities—it brings neighbors closer together, but can amplify their worst fears—and its focus on neighborhoods makes it a particularly valuable tool for law-enforcement agencies that want to understand the concerns of particular areas in a city.

-Surveillance Camera Changes:

Security cameras are a great way to provide security for our home or workplace. As well as providing you with video footage of any events which may happen, they also act as a visible deterrent to crime. Our camera needs adjustment, it needs ambient light and it needs someone to maintain the upgrades.

-FY 2017 1st Quarterly Budget Report – Discussion tabled until next meeting. Deb Kutzleb not present.

-2017 Neighborhood Telephone Directory is finished

The directory is 22 pages and we’ll need 170 copies to cover the neighborhood.  We can always print more with the most current address information if needed. The printing cost will be $225.  We’ll need 8 reams of paper for about $75 dollars for good quality clear white paper.

Volunteers are needed to collate and staple the hard copy directory. When we go to press we will need someone to come to Deb’s office in Largo to help collate and staple the booklets.

-Volunteering in the Neighborhood. Volunteers are needed for mowing grass at Lot 39, we have a tractor. We need help picking up road side trash along Piscataway Drive, fortifying the shed that secures the tractor mower, and volunteers are needed to stain and tighten the bolts in the children swing set on Lot 39.

Volunteers are also needed for the Potomac Watershed clean up on April 8th.

Please set aside some time on Saturday, April 8th from 9:00am to 2:00pm, and join your neighbors as volunteers for the most worthy event. As in years past we’ll be collecting trash on Lot 39

Along Piscataway Creek shoreline towards Fort Washington Marina

On Piscataway Creek island

Gloves, trash bags, and water transportation will be provided, as well as morning coffee & donuts and an afternoon hotdog BBQ lunch.

If walking along Piscataway Creek shoreline picking up trash is not “your thing”, we also need volunteers to:

  • Help sign in other volunteers
  • Record trash items collected
  • Transport trash collected to Fort Washington Marina
  • BBQ chef for afternoon lunch
  • Take pictures of our trash bounty and heroic effort
  • Keys to the lock at Lot 39 will be distributed at the Potomac Watershed Clean up.

Christmas in April Fundraiser
In its 28th year of rehabilitating low-income homes, revitalizing neighborhoods and giving the gift of hope and dignity to homeowners, the Prince George’s County’s Christmas in April program has grown from 600 volunteers repairing 30 homes in 1989 to now 3,200 volunteers helping to repair 81 homes, thanks to the leadership of program founder Vincent “Cap” Mona, as well as the cooperative efforts of sponsors including county government, individual donors, businesses, civic and community organizations, restaurants and churches.

From Accokeek to Laurel, Christmas in April facilitates the renovation of homes at no financial cost to the recipients — who are either low-income, physically challenged or disabled senior citizens — so they may live in warmth, safety and independence. The program, which is part of national organization with 249 affiliates throughout the U.S., grew out of the urgent need for betting housing conditions and neighbor-helping neighbor partnerships, according to the Christmas in April website.

Put It on Your Calendar
Fundraiser at Mama Stella’s February 8, 2017

Mamma Stella’s Ristorante Italian, at 7918 Old Branch Ave in Clinton, will donate 20% of all sales February 8th to Christmas in April. Lunch 11am-4pm, Dinner 4pm-9pm. Carryout is available

Dinner & Dance on February 18, 2017

Columbia Moose Lodge at 10404 Brandywine Road in Clinton. Tickets are $15.00 per person. Price includes food, live band, silent auction and 50/50 raffle.

Community Entrance Sign

The Beautification Committee rep of Piscataway Hills called to get a quote on a new neighborhood entrance sign to mount to our existing posts.

We’d like it to be this size: [55″ Inches Long X 11″ Inches Wide X 1 3/4 Deep] to read:
“PISCATAWAY HILLS”

We’d like it to be single sided with REFLECTIVE LETTERING (if available would be very helpful for our non-light park style community)

We’d also like a quote for each Optional NOTICE Attachments Signs that occasionally we hang below the main sign 3′ Feet Long X 5″ 1/2″ Wide by 1 3/4 Inches Deep. (We use these to notify owners of BBQ, Picnic, Community Yard Sale Sat 8-3, BOD Meeting 7pm, PHCA meeting 7pm)

Please mail us a brochure with pricing and shipping rates for the BOD & Homeowners to View and VOTE on.

Thanking you in advance.

Robert Reilly President

This letter was sent to Art Sign Works, Inc. to get quotes on replacing the current Piscataway Hills entrance sign. Six different styled entrance photographs were displayed adjacent to the sign-in sheet for the meeting. Members were encouraged to check off the best two photographs prior to the meeting. The results will be discussed at a later meeting.

Meeting Schedule for the remainder of 2017

April 18th           July 18th            September 19th

The meeting adjourned at 8:00pm after the 50/50 raffle winner was announced.

Trammell Crow to Build Medical Office Building

Trammell Crow Co. plans to build a 93,000-square-foot medical office building at National Harbor to be completed by the fall of 2018.

The company has about 1 acre under contract from National Harbor developer Peterson Cos., said Trammell Crow Senior Vice President Trevor Vietor. The Medical Pavilion at National Harbor will be located at the intersection of St. George and National Harbor boulevards, next to the The Esplanade apartment complex.

Click here to read the article.

Piscataway Hills Day

Please join the honorable Rushern L Baker, III for Piscataway Hills Day at Lot 39 -Waterfront Park.  This event will happen on May 2nd at 1PM.  

Guest Speaker: Congressmen Steny Hoyer

The event will include the Proclamation of Piscataway Hills Day, a Piscataway Drive re-opening ceremony, and the recondition of a reconnected, restored and unified community.

RSVP to Paulette Jones at (301) 883-5600 or pljones@co.pg.md.us.

28th Annual Potomac Watershed Cleanup

Please set aside some time on Saturday, April 16th from 9:00am to 2:00pm, and join your neighbors as volunteers for the most worthy event.

As in years past we’ll be collecting trash:

  • On Lot 39 waterfront park
  • Along Piscataway Creek shoreline towards Fort Washington Marina
  • Along Piscataway Creek shoreline towards Route 210 overpass (again this year’s emphasis – volunteers are needed to park/walk in from 210)
  • On Piscataway Creek island

Gloves, trash bags, and water transportation will be provided, as well as morning coffee & donuts and an afternoon hotdog BBQ lunch.

If walking along Piscataway Creek shoreline picking up trash is not “your thing”, we also need volunteers to:

  • Help sign in other volunteers
  • Record trash items collected
  • Transport trash collected to Fort Washington Marina
  • BBQ chef for afternoon lunch
  • Take pictures of our trash bounty and heroic efforts

Hope to see you April 16th!

For more information, contact event coordinators Deborah Kutzled or Dave Lishin.

PHCA Quarterly Meeting

Agenda:

Welcome and Introduction of New Neighbors – Gwynn

  • Introduction of Guest Speaker, Don Herring, Maryland National Park and Planning,
  • Introduction of P.G. County Detective for District VII, regarding recent thefts and regarding 400 Miles of New Trails for P.G. County vandalism

Old Business:

  • Phase I Surveillance Camera Completed & Kelly Rd Squatters – Neal
  • Neighborhood Watch Program Update – George & Joni
  • FY 2015 3rd Quarter Budget Report – Don
  • Lower Piscataway Drive Repair Updates & Questions – Daisy
  • Piscataway Dr. Entrance Monthly Trash Pick Update – Debbie

New Business:

  • Phase 2 Surveillance Camera Starting – Spring/Summer 2015 – Debbie
  • Community Involvement in 400 Miles of Trails – Gwynn
  • Progressive Dinner Fundraiser for September 2015 – Gwynn
  • Relocation of 2015 Oktoberfest to Piscataway Court – Gwynn

E-Mail Notification: If you are not already receiving e-mail notifications about PHCA events and other community news, please send your current e-mail address to Treasurer Don Benedict

Trail advocates push for bridge in Fort Washington

Walkers following the Piscataway Creek Trail to the Fort Washington Marina often get discouraged by a swath of wetlands that inhibits travel and trail use, residents say.

“It’s divided,” said Mark Holt, the co-founder of the coalition. “Without going all the way through it’s much less usable by the public. It doesn’t connect to anything.”

To boost interest in the trail, members of the coalition are pushing for the construction of a wetland bridge, a project that’s been funded since 2010, but has yet to get off the ground.

Continue reading “Trail advocates push for bridge in Fort Washington”

Draft Report on Piscataway Drive Slope Failure Released

Here is the Preliminary Piscataway Drive Slope Failure report that was released by Prince Georges County.  There is a scheduled meeting today will address questions about the report>  Representatives from KCI and the County Department of Public Works and Transportation will be in attendance.

Additionally, the Department of Social Services is distributing $500 Walmart gift cards to the impacted families of the slope failure.  These cards were donated by the Walmart Foundation.

Oktoberfest 2013

Oktoberfest: Food, Games, and Trees on a Sunny Fall Day

Past President Gwynn Roberson serves the feast
Past President Gwynn Roberson serves the feast

An estimated 75 Piscataway Hills residents and guests enjoyed a sunny fall day at the annual Oktoberfest at Lot 39 Waterfront Park on October 5.

The food followed an appropriate German theme, including traditional bratwurst and turkey-stuffed bierocks prepared by Gwynn Roberson, PHCA’s immediate past president.

Maureen Bartee prevents underage drinking by twins Ryan and Colin
Maureen Bartee prevents underage drinking by twins Ryan and Colin

Gwynn also made drunken chicken over noodles, applesauce, and chicken sausage with red peppers and spinach. Diane Lishin helped with the food preparation, providing cheesy potatoes and baked beans.

“As usual, Gwynn Roberson took care of the neighborhood—hats off to Gwynn,” said PHCA Acting President Dave Lishin, while also crediting his wife’s able assistance.

The dessert table was overflowing with pineapple upside down cake, raspberry German chocolate cake, rum raisin cake, pumpkin cookies, and much, much more. Revelers also enjoyed a wide range of German and non-German beer and wine.

Kids enjoy the climbing wall
Kids enjoy the climbing wall

At the height of the event, which ran from 2-6 p.m., all the Waterfront Park picnic tables were full, along with numerous extra chairs. The new Waterfront Park playground again proved popular with the kids, who also enjoyed volleyball, badminton, and other games.

 

 

 

 

 

Black Forest Cake by Eva Mitter did not last long.
Black Forest Cake by Eva Mitter did not last long.

Eva Mitter, who moved to her home on Piscataway Drive from Tyson’s Corner in the summer of 2012, was attending her second Piscataway Hills Oktoberfest. She said she had “scoured the entire metro area” to find a peaceful home in a natural setting. “Getting up in the morning and looking at all the trees is simply amazing,” she said while relaxing at one of the shady picnic tables.

A first-time Oktoberfest guest, Bre Malone of Clarksburg, Md., was very impressed with Lot 39 Waterfront Park: “I did not know you guys had all this water and the beautiful trees.”

 

Old Fort Road Casino Plan Raises Concern

parx_casino
Proposed Parx Casino

A proposal to build an $800 million casino-hotel-entertainment complex next to Livingston Square shopping center in Fort Washington has sparked considerable concern among Piscataway Hills residents.

The Parx Casino Hotel & Spa, proposed by Greenwood Racing in May 2013, would be constructed on 22 acres of mostly wooded land at the intersection of Indian Head Highway (MD 210) and Old Fort Road North (across from the Giant supermarket). According to the developer, the facility, if approved, would include 4,750 slot machines, 170 table games, a 250 room hotel and a 5,000-space parking garage.

The Parx proposal is one of three that are competing for the right to build and operate one casino in Prince George’s County, as authorized by Maryland voters in 2012. The other two proposed casinos are at Rosecroft Raceway, sponsored by Penn National Gaming, and at National Harbor, sponsored by MGM Resorts.

At a community meeting held in Tantallon in response to the Parx plan, area residents, including several from Piscataway Hills, noted that the Old Fort Road location has the worst highway access of the three sites, with congested Indian Head Highway providing the primary access to the Beltway. Participants at the meeting also contended that the Parx casino would create unacceptable environmental damage, such as the destruction of woodland and heightened stormwater runoff in the Broad Creek Historic District.

Casino supporters cite jobs and tax benefits. “The proposed development is expected to create more than 5,000 jobs and $1 billion of annual economic benefit to the state upon completion, along with approximately 5,000 construction jobs and more than $600 million of economic benefit during the construction phase of the project,” according to a press release from Greenwood Racing. “In addition, the casino operation is projected to generate more than $400 million of gaming tax rev- enue for the state and local communities.”

A public hearing on the Parx proposal will be held Wednesday, October 23, at 6 p.m. at Friendly High School. (Hearings on the Rosecroft proposal will be October 21 and the MGM plan on October 25.) The hearings will be conducted by the Maryland Video Lottery Facility Location Commission (VLFLC), which will select the proposal to be constructed. Before each public hearing, the Commission will tour the proposed site at 2 p.m. and hear a presentation from the sponsor at 3:30 p.m.

“The purpose of each of the site visits and public hearings is for the Commissioners to view the proposed location, observe the surrounding community, get a sense of the size and scope of the proposed facilities, to hear directly from the applicants, and to listen to the public support and public concerns about the proposed project” said Commission Chairman Donald C. Fry.

For more information on the hearings and how to testify or submit a statement, see the Commission web site.

PHCA Annual Meeting; Elections; Neighborhood Watch

With former President Gwynn Roberson, Secretary Debbie Kutzleb, and Board Member Troy Lee not running for re-election, the Piscataway Hills Citizens Association will have significant leadership changes following the annual membership meeting on September 24.

Candidates for the vacant officer positions could not be found, so under the bylaws, Vice President Dave Lishin will serve as Acting President. The position of Secretary remains vacant, but Joni Jones volunteered to be on the board and was elected unanimously. Members also approved a motion thanking Gwynn Roberson for her service as President; she will remain on the board as Immediate Past President.

Other issues discussed at the annual meeting included the neighborhood watch program, the PHCA budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, and excessively noisy parties.

Board Members George Satterthwaite and Joni Jones provided a status report on PHCA’s efforts to establish an officially recognized neighborhood watch program. The program is designed to enhance the reporting of suspicious activities in the neighborhood to the police. Piscataway Hills is to be divided into 10 zones, each with a block captain. Volunteers and other members of the community are to report suspicious activities to the block captains, who will then contact the appropriate offices within the Prince George’s County Police Department. The program will probably not include scheduled citizen patrols, George said.

The first step in establishing a neighborhood watch is to obtain signed petitions from at least 75% of the households in the community. Piscataway Hills has 172 homes, with 15 of them vacant, meaning that 117 signatures are needed. George reported that he and the other organizers, after canvassing the community and approaching residents at Oktoberfest on October 5, had collected 109 signatures and need only eight more to submit the neighborhood watch application. More block captains are also still needed, he said. Once the signatures are gathered and the block captains are trained, then PHCA would receive two free “neighborhood watch” signs and could buy additional signs. It was proposed at the meeting that PHCA purchase enough signs so that each of the 10 zones could have one.

Treasurer Don Benedict reported that PHCA ran a surplus of about $600 during the 2012-2013 fiscal year, ending with a balance of $4,368 and 60 dues-paying members. The surplus was achieved despite the one-time expenditure of $1,079 for the new playground at Lot 39 Waterfront Park. Members at the annual meeting ap- proved the proposed budget for 2013-2014, which for the first time includes a $750 premium for liability insurance, a subject that had been debated extensively at earlier quarterly meetings.

The annual meeting concluded with a discussion of excessively noisy parties in Piscataway Hills. It was pointed out that Prince George’s County prohibits noise that is audible more than 50 feet from its source from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., with fines of up to $250 for the first offense and $500 for the second offense and up to 30 days in jail.

The noise ordinance can be found at:
http://www.berwynheightspd.com/select%20county%20ordinances.htm.